Face-to-face meetings are still an invaluable part of the sales process. Whether you’re a road warrior, travelling to a conference, closing a key deal, or visiting a long-time client, you will inevitably have blocks of under-utilized time. Below are five tips to help you stay productive and best capitalize your time on the ground.

1. Schedule the trip strategically: Prior to planning the trip, define the key meeting(s) around which the trip can be anchored. If the cost of the trip is high, consider:

  • Adjusting the dates of the trip to include other anchor meetings
  • Arriving early/late to include other meetings

2. Add other meetings around your anchor meeting: Once your schedule is set, immediately begin thinking about whom else you can meet with during your trip. Several key strategies include:

  • Reaching out to key existing clients in the market you are visiting (you will need to have your clients’ locations organized effectively in your CRM to make this a regular and effective tactic).
  • If you’re attending a conference, researching companies you would like to meet and using your trip as a reason to introduce yourself.
  • In advance of your trip, conducting an outreach campaign to companies fitting your target profile in the market.
  • As a bonus, you can use your trip as an excuse to reach out to companies in your pipeline in the market you are visiting. Even if they aren’t ready to close now, knowing you thought of them when visiting their market will keep you top of mind.

3. Use travel-time wisely: On most trips, you will have blocks of time between meetings, either in the car, at the airport, or before/after events. Use this time to your advantage by:

  • Calling clients and prospects (have your assistant use your CRM to develop a call list)
  • Calling your assistant to download notes from meetings, get assistance with follow-up actions/notes, and coordinate any travel changes (see below)

4. Focus on meetings, not logistics: Your time on the ground is valuable. Don’t waste it coordinating logistics. Instead, have your assistant handle:

  • Flight changes
  • Rescheduled meetings
  • Hotel, car, and restaurant reservations

5. Come home relaxed: When returning from a big trip, getting home to your loved ones should be your top priority. Don’t worry about expense reports; delegate these to an assistant, along with any other follow-up tasks from your trip.